Hockey: Depleted Reivers grounded by Grange

Grange 6 Fjordhus Reivers 0

EAST MENS’ DIVISION ONE

FJORDHUS Reivers made their first of what will be many trips to Grange this season with a tough test against a well drilled home team.

The makeup of the visitors was almost unrecognisable from the team of earlier in the season, as holidays and work commitments took their toll.

The match started brightly for the Reivers with good interplay from the midfield causing problems for the home defence.

Grange as ever were extremely resilient, in attack they worked methodically probing for gaps. The scoring was opened from one such attack, the ball zipping from side to side before being drilled across the circle to a free man at the back post to finish past the flat footed keeper.

The Reivers continued to press up the pitch looking for an opening, this however left things open at the back. Defensive pairing of Stuart Ross and Dave Johnston were doing well to repel any attacks, however while clearing the ball from the circle a Reivers foot touched the ball resulting in an short corner which was expertly dispatched into the goal. This was a body blow to the Reivers who until this point had felt they were holding their own.

The pressure from the home side continued with waves of attack pinning the Reivers in their circle until eventually the third goal was scored, deflected in from eight yards.

As the Reivers looked to re-group they had problems with two players carrying injuries but without subs they were forced to hobble on. This started to tell on the Borders in the second half as the injured players toiled and the others struggling to keep up with the high pace of the game. There was however some terrific work done to prevent further scoring for a full 20 minutes. Defending bravely and often getting slight touches to knock the ball away from the attacker.

Unfortunately the Reivers could only keep their finger in the dyke for so long and the resistance was broken from another short corner, this was swiftly followed by a reverse stick shot from a narrow angle and another deflected drive into the circle.

All in all a bad day at the office for the bedraggled Reivers, with a make shift team further stretched by injury there was only going to be one result. Stand in Skipper Graham Lofthouse tried to put a brave face on things. He told TheSouthern: “ We have to try and take something positive and we defended very well for the third quarter of the game, we also had some excellent individual performances, however we naturally looked very tired at the end and lost our shape a bit.”

Next up is a visit from Edinburgh University to Tweedbank on Saturday with a 10.30am start.

Reivers: S. Young, C. Tucker, S. Ross, D. Johnston, P. Conkie, B. Moffat, G. Lofthouse, J. Burne, G. Roberts, J. Lamb.